On My Firsts

The other day, someone on Twitter asked her followers for their first kiss stories. I read the responses—some cute, some awkward, some wistful—and wanted to offer up one of my own.

But I couldn’t, and didn’t, because I don’t really remember my definitive first kiss. Nor, for that matter, do I really remember what constitutes my big first time.


I didn’t date in high school, or younger. A combination of crippling social anxiety, terror of being outed as a closeted queer in the 90s, and general loathing of my Midwestern small-town environment made it an impossibility.

Instead, I looked forward to college with a sort of heartbreaking desperation. I would finally live in college, I told myself. I would be social, I would be out, I would have friends, I would date. I would be happy.

In truth, little changed when I left for college. I’d survived high school by being an unknown, a hermit crab who never left its thick shell, and by that point it was all I knew. I didn’t want to let it go.

So I didn’t hesitate to request and get a single dorm room, despite the considerable cost I’m still paying off more than ten years later. I went to an occasional LGBTQ+ club and event but didn’t talk to anyone. I attended class but never participated. I spent a lot of time wishing I was alone in my single dorm room, like I had been alone in my bedroom at home. My shell had been moved, but I was still the same hermit crab cowering in its confines.

I was already deep into fandom then, reading and writing fan fiction online, and the little contact I had with other readers and fans was the only social interaction I had on a regular basis. And so it was here, rather than on my campus, that I met my first girlfriend.

She commented favorably on one of my stories and added me to her Livejournal friends list. I commented favorably on one of her personal posts a few months later. Then she started flirting, and I fell hard.

She was a senior in high school and did a lot of online dating. A lot of online dating. Her mom and stepdad were, at first, blasé about the whole thing and eventually strangely thrilled about me. I was a virgin in every sense and something of a goody two-shoes, which made me different from the girls she usually dated.

A good sort of different, I was always assured. And I believed it eagerly—who doesn’t want to believe they’re a paragon of perfection after a long line of subpar significant others?

But I’m digressing. My first kiss and my first time…

It was a five-hour drive from my new girlfriend’s home to my college dorm room, and because her parents were so welcoming of me—based on literally nothing but the fact that she’d told them I was a virgin and that I must’ve seemed “nice” from the way she described me—they let her visit me for a weekend.

I don’t remember our (my) first kiss very clearly because it was immediately preceded by meeting her for the first time and immediately followed by our (my) first make-out session followed by our (my) first time having sex followed by our (my) second time and so on.

To call it overwhelming and a whirlwind would be an understatement. It was a mess, and I remember only weird flashes and insignificant details. Like that we had to stop briefly to move her car out of the dorm parking lot (I didn’t know about visitors’ passes, not having any friends or visitors, and so we always parked her car at the nearby mall during her visits).

I remember wanting to stop and thinking very, very hard, like I could project my thoughts into her head, that I didn’t want our (my) first time to be like this, but I didn’t actually say anything. I was too scared.

I remember she wanted me to sit on her face and that I did and was devastated—literally, near-tears devastation—that I got no pleasure from it and had to fake an orgasm to get her to stop.

I remember she’d brought a strap-on with her. It was huge, so massive in thickness and length that neither she nor her previous girlfriend had been able to “take it.” Was this before or after the face-sitting? I don’t know. But I do remember that, after she took the strap-on off, she called her ex—whom she was still incredibly close with, despite her ex being upset that my girlfriend had essentially chosen me over her—just to brag about how effortlessly I had “taken it.”

This all sounds worse than it actually was, and I don’t doubt my memories are tainted by bitterness over how the year-and-a-half-long relationship inevitably staggered and died, and how it’s only in hindsight that I realize she behaved nearly as monstrously during it as I did.

But I’m digressing again.

The point is, I wish I had a single solid memory to point to as I say This was my first kiss or This was my first time. Instead, I have an amalgamation of experiences and emotions so tangled I struggle to pick out even one gleaming memory from the wreckage.

What about you all? Do you have a strong memory of a first kiss or first time?

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